Fox pounces on maiden Group 1

Foxwedge completed a stellar day for Nash Rawiller when he won the William Reid Stakes.

Nash Rawiller rounded out a dual state feature double when he partnered Foxwedge to victory in the $400,000 Group 1 Power Tracker William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley.

Less than five hours after winning the Listed Albury Cup aboard the David Hayes-trained Extra Zero, Gai Waterhouse’s stable rider assured Foxwedge’s stud future when he engineered an upset win over Hay List in the 1200-metre event.

It capped a dream day for the former Victorian, who has always had a high opinion of the John O’Shea-trained three-year-old, who he rode to a narrow second to champion colt Sepoy in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes last spring.

“It was lovely to go down there and win the Albury Cup, but you can see how much this one means to me,” Sydney-based Rawiller said. “It’s very satisfying, obviously for John O’Shea and (owner) Mr Bateman and the whole team.

“He’s a colt I had such a big opinion of from day one when I rode him and today was the first time since he’s run second to Sepoy that he’s really knuckled down like that.

“Gee, he’s a good colt and he’s got that real X-factor about him.”

The son of sire-of-the-moment Fastnet Rock made the most of a crack Rawiller ride to get the money in the feature event of the final meeting of this year’s Melbourne Festival of Racing.

Foxwedge settled third, behind leader Buffering, before edging one off the fence rounding the home bend and pounding on Hay List just when the hot favourite looked to have the race in his keeping.

The $12 chance, who finished third behind Hay List and Buffering in the Newmarket Handicap, charged alongside the $1.55 favourite inside the 100m and pulled away to score by three quarters of a length.

Buffering ($8.50) stuck on for third, 1-3/4 lengths away, meaning the first three home in the Newmarket Handicap again filled the top three placings, albeit in a different order.

It was a remarkable turnaround for Foxwedge, who met Hay List 6kg worse for being beaten two lengths in the Newmarket, when ridden by Craig Williams, but Rawiller said tonight’s race panned out better.

“It was no fault of Craig’s the other day, he drew a wide gate and nothing gave him cover,” Rawiller said. “Every time I’ve ridden him I’ve made sure he got that real nice suck along and given him the last shot and he’s a damn good horse when you can do that.”

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